Activism

'This Is Not a Tax Bill, This Is a Declaration of War': Nationwide Protests Erupt After GOP Tax Vote

From coast to coast, politicians and concerned citizens demand, "Tax the rich, not the poor."

Photo Credit: Twitter / IndivisibleMad

"The CEOs in that building are going to be laughing all the way to the bank if this bill passes," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told an energized crowd in front of the New York Stock Exchange Saturday. At 2am that day, the GOP passed a massive tax cut—a $1.5 trillion wealth transfer from the poorest Americans to the wealthiest—and New Yorkers were enraged.

Hundreds of people stretched across the plaza in front of the Stock Exchange, in the heart of Wall Street, chanting "Kill the bill" and "Tax the rich, not the poor," so loudly even tourists attempting to take pictures of the George Washington statue in front of the Federal Reserve building were compelled to join in.

They listened raptly, not only to elected officials like de Blasio, but to Patrice Buffaloe, a social studies teacher from Staten Island, who described how teachers have to reach into their own pockets to pay for critical school supplies. Kat Brezler, a fellow teacher running for state Senate, recounted how she took her students to the theater, and instead of marveling at the stage and costumes, the kids couldn't stop talking about how the bathrooms had multiple rolls of toilet paper.

The crowd was further energized by Barbara Bowen, the president of the union for CUNY college professors who warned the crowd, "Surely, they will try to break our democracy further, through voter disenfranchisement, gerrymandering, and an even bigger flood of money in an effort to hold on to power." But, she continued, "we predict the people will rise up, throw these immoral scoundrels from power in a historic wave, and reverse their disastrous policies."

The protests weren't limited to New York. At the Bangor, Maine airport, where constituents once cheered for Senator Susan Collins when she voted no on repealing the Affordable Care Act, they now turned their backs, because, as they said in a statement, "Her vote was not a vote for Mainers but a tax cut for the rich.” 

In Wisconsin, a group called the Overpass Light Brigade lit up a Madison overpass with the words "This is Tax Warfare."

In Kansas, Indivisible SEK visited the offices of Senator Jerry Moran to say "1.4 trillion of debt will be left to our children and grandchildren. You have no shame, Senator."

Indivisible Southern Arizona led a 43-hour vigil at Senator John McCain and Jeff Flake's offices, calling it "The Filibuster."

In addition to local office visits, busloads of activists from around the country descended on the capitol building Monday to voice their displeasure. They returned for another day of action on Tuesday, December, 5. Watch video from Monday's actions below: 

 

Posted by Maryellen Novak on Monday, December 4, 2017

 

Ilana Novick is an AlterNet contributing writer and production editor.

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